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Ensuring a safe return to College

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Ensuring a safe return to Selby College for staff and students

At Selby College, we are working hard to prepare our campus for a safe return for all of our students and staff this September. While this upcoming academic year may look different to previous ones, we will do everything within our power to make students feel safe and supported upon their return or start at the College, so that we can deliver education and training, but safely.

We are really keen to welcome our students so that they can meet their tutors and the staff they will be working with, as well enable them to meet and make friends with their fellow students. After reviewing how the start of the year looks, our plan is to ease students into their existing or new programme of study to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by this change.

As a College, we are following the latest advice provided by the Government to ensure students and staff are able to work safely, although this guidance may evolve in the coming weeks and months. That is why we are ensuring our students are equipped to work independently and when necessary, from home. During the enrolment process, we spoke to our students about which technology they have access to at home and are providing them with training on how to use our systems, including Google Classrooms which will be the main digital platform for the College.

Our students responded extremely well to online learning during lockdown and this has paved the way for a more independent learning approach to be implemented going forward. This will of course be dependent on the nature and level of practical learning required for each course.

We will also be hosting several two-day inductions for different student groups from the 4th of September until the 15th of September to ensure they feel comfortable and safe to return to campus. As part of this, students will receive a digital refresher, their timetables and meet with course staff and Guidance Support Tutors (GSTs) to confirm that they are ready for the coming year. We are also asking all students to bring their own equipment, such as pens, pencils, ruler etc., as well as face coverings and hand sanitiser.

Physical changes have also been made to the campus to guarantee that all students and staff can operate safely and at a distance. The following safety measures have been implemented on campus, including:

  • Sanitisation stations in every building.
  • Students and staff should wear face masks within communal parts of the College (corridors, library, toilets etc.) and public transport
  • We will be staggering breaks and lunch times to minimise numbers with safe queuing systems in food collection areas.
  • Food provision will be a ‘grab and go’ offer, with contactless payments only from the 16th of September.
  • There will be limited and supervised seating in refectory area. In good weather, seating is adjacent outdoors. Eating areas will also be designated in different buildings.
  • There will be no water fountains in use – so students should bring their own water with them or there will be refreshments available for purchase.
  • There will be staff monitoring social distancing around the campus.
  • There will be social distancing measures in toilets.
  • We will follow the relevant guidelines for transport to College.
  • There will be strict social-distancing in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC).
  • We will monitor government guidance closely and be ready to respond and quickly if necessary.

We have also introduced Ten Top Safety Actions to help raise awareness of the symptoms of Covid-19 and to prevent the spread of the virus across the campus. We have made the decision to make face coverings mandatory in corridors, stairs, toilets and other indoor communal areas on the Selby College campus in the hope that these additional safety measures will help keep our students and staff as safe as possible. However, this will not apply to those who cannot wear masks for medical reasons.

Given that many students have been learning from home over the past six-months, it is normal for them to feel worried or anxious about returning to the classroom. At Selby College, we will do everything to ensure our students can settle in, find their way around and feel safe and comfortable within the College. Our students tell us Selby College is friendly, welcoming and a great place to study and we are sure that they will have an enjoyable and successful time here.

Top Ten Safety Actions